Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 32550

Law 7 - The Duration of the Match 6/27/2018

RE: Rec High School

Dan Netti of Auburn, New York Cayuga asks...

Hi all, what's your thoughts on stoppage time for a U19 rec league? Most of these players play for their high schools during the school year. Considering the ball goes a ways when booted out of bounds or over the goal I've been adding a minute or two on to the end of each half to account for the time it takes to get the ball as well when subs come in. However I've been getting complaints from a coach about it. What's your thoughts? Thanks!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dan
Coaches rarely complain if their team is behind and they are looking for the maximum amount of added time. Complaints are generally about too little time if behind or too much time by the team in the lead.
Time is added on in FIFA games for lost time due to the following
# substitutions  
# assessment and/or removal of injured players
# wasting time
# disciplinary sanctions
# stoppages for drinks (which should not exceed one minute) or other medical reasons permitted by competition rules
# any other cause, including any significant delay to a restart (e.g. goal celebrations).
I personally would not add on time for recovering the ball which is part of the game unless the ball was clearly kicked away a long distance to use up time or not easily recoverable such as over a fence etc.
Also many of the reasons to add on for time lost with the exception of injuries rarely happen in the first half so without injury I would not add on time. In the second half there are usually substitutions and delays that need to be accounted for.
In NFHS games the times the match clock is stopped is set out in the rules. Recovering the ball for normal restarts is not one of those with perhaps the exception where the ball is not easily recoverable and the referee asks for the match clock to be stopped.
**The clock shall be stopped for an injury, for a penalty kick, for cautioning (yellow card), for disqualifications (red card), following the scoring of a goal and when a referee orders the clock be stopped.**
Note that in both codes that normal recovering of the ball for regular restarts is not specified. It can be if the restart is tardy and done for unsporting reasons or a ball is not easily recoverable.
My advice is to add on for the main items such as injuries and substitutions and not to be too concerned about regular restarts except where the game is clearly stopped due to the ball not being recoverable or excessive time wasting.
A final point is that some rec competitions do not have added time for any reason. In some ROCs the game ends when the game time is fully expired. Case in point in the Pro Emeriates Cup which ends on 90 minutes with no added time for substitutions, injuries etc.
Perhaps in your rec league there is such a rule?

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Dan,
Some teams are good about providing a few extra balls BUT be sure this is a KNOWN fact before starting. I too suspect, unless we are looking at it as way to use up time tactically I doubt you need to worry about it! But be careful, a desperate defender may well during play aimlessly kick the ball away and you will hear hey he just did that to waste time. It is not a defenders fault there is only one ball and to clear the lines is an important defensive tactic.

In cases where we have a single ball being used it might be an idea to ask the two teams do you want me to add time for chasing it around? Unlike the big boys where ball boys toss it back within seconds we can spend a lot of play time wading the creek or pond or searching a nearby forest or chasing it down hill to the next parking lot on some uninspiring pitches.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Dan,
For me, it would not be part of normal practice to allow additional time simply for the ball going out of play. As the LotG quote given by ref McHugh says, time should only be allowed for ''any significant delay to a restart (e.g. goal celebrations).''

So unless the delay in returning the ball to the field is truly significant, meaning something unusual and exceptional had occurred, I would not be allowing time, or at least not on any kind of a regular basis, each time the ball goes out of play.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32550
Read other Q & A regarding Law 7 - The Duration of the Match

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.